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Swollen Hands
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Swollen Hands

When my hands are exposed to the cold they turn red and become swollen, sore and itchy.  It's very much like an allergic reaction.  In fact, the first time this happened I thought it was a reaction to some soap I had used.  I was outside without gloves in 34 degree weather this morning for about 20 minutes.  My hands had a reaction after about 10 minutes.  I've always had cold hands and feet, but this is only the second time I've had this sort of reaction.  I'm a 57 year old female.  Any ideas about what might be going on?  I'm certainly not going to expose my hands to cold weather again, but I'm wondering if it could be anything more serious than tempermental hands.
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4 Comments
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563773_tn?1374250139
Hello,

Without examination,confirming a diagnosis is tough but it can be due to cold allergy or due to electrolyte imbalance in the body. Cold urticaria is a disorder characterized by the rapid onset of itchiness, redness and swelling of the skin within minutes after exposure to a cold stimulus.

Patients typically experience symptoms while outside on cold, windy or rainy days. Fatalities following swimming have been reported and those affected should be warned that swimming or having a cold bath could be dangerous.

Diagnosis can be made by an ice-cube test. Place an ice cube on your forearm for 4 minutes and observe the area for 10 minutes afterwards. If you have cold urticaria, the area will become itchy and then swell approximately 2 minutes after removing the ice cube.

Treatment is avoiding exposure to cold stimuli, including swimming or bathing in cold water. You can take antihistaminics like zyrtec or tegamet.You should enroll with Medic Alert and always carry Epi pen (injectable adrenaline) along with you.

Hope it helps.Take care and pls do keep me posted on how you are doing or if you have any additional queries.Kind regards.

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636562_tn?1223671045
Kindd is right, and my husband suffers from this as well.  His hands get extremely hot, puffy, and intensely itchy if he goes outside in cold weather without gloves.  His feet have had similar reactions if he's run outside quickly while barefoot in cold weather.  He can't get things out of the freezer without having a reaction either.

I hope this information helps and I hope you feel better!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

I hope this writing finds you feeling better.

I have experienced the same sort of symptoms.  I was diagnosed with Raynaud's Phenomenon and placed a a calcium channel blocker which worked great.

Smiles.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for the information about cold urticaria.  I did the ice cube test and reacted.  To make sure it was a reaction, I had my husband do the test along with me.  I reacted, he didn't.  I'm sorry it took me so long to reply.  Every time I go out into the cold I think about how nice it was of all of you to reply.

Hoping for a warm winter.
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